Art always speaks, but it doesn’t say the same thing to everyone. Recently my friend Melanie posted this video about The Power of Words on The Master’s Artist. My first impression was perhaps the one most expected — delight that the change in the wording of the message prompted people to put themselves in the blind man’s shoes. Instead of feeling mere pity, they could “see” (or not see) through his eyes. It felt like manipulation but not in a negative sense. Words can and should be used to inspire good.
But then my thoughts shifted. The blind man couldn’t physically see, but all those people who passed by him suffered from a different kind blindness, one that’s perhaps far worse. And I do as well. The new sign plucked a chord in their hearts and prompted response — the tossing of a few coins. They met a real need, but did they meet the deepest one?
Then I remembered this beautiful scene from the movie, Amelie:
Amelie not only saw anew, she gave the gift of sight. She became the blind man’s eyes. She entered his life and enriched his story, and the glory shining from his face at the end of the scene absolutely leaves me undone.
I don’t want to go through life oblivious to those around me, untouched by their suffering, unmoved by their pain. And, even though it truly does make a difference, I don’t want to appease my conscience by writing a check — tossing a few coins as I hurry by.
I want to see past the outward and obvious to the deeper need, and that takes more than a monetary investment. It takes time. Compassion. A heart willing to give and maybe even break without asking for anything in return. It takes entering another person’s story and walking arm-in-arm for a while. But how else can we expect to lead others to the only One who can remove the veil, open eyes, and redeem all brokenness?
The Lord asks the blind beggar, “What do you want me to do for you?”
With fear and trembling, I count the cost, and I answer.
“Lord, I want to see.”